One of the things you learn when you read a lot of wine books is that, as much as I may love them, many are not exactly thrill-a-minute page-turners. And for those who aren’t passionate about wine, they may even seem a little dry. Wine is fascinating, but it’s also complicated and that can make it difficult to write books about it that appeal to people who aren’t necessarily all that interested in wine.
Evan Dawson may have written a book that’s the exception to the rule. I bought a copy of Summer in a Glass last year, having seen it recommended on Twitter. I kept thinking I should get around to reading it, but I was concerned that a book about the Finger Lakes wine region in New York State might not be that interesting. And never mind that there were so many books about the bigger and more influential areas that I needed to read for wine school.
But then I picked it up and I had trouble putting it down. This is probably the first and only time a book about a wine region almost made me miss my subway stop. Dawson writes in a way that’s just so compelling – each chapter is the story of a Finger Lakes winemaker and how they found their way to the region. And the stories are just so fascinating – and told so well. There’s the French estate literally stolen away from one, the ongoing immigration saga of another, the slipping away from his German home in the middle of the night of a third. Each story is given equal care and attention – whether the winemakers’ story is full of drama or just full of a passion for the region.
And this really is a love letter to the Finger Lakes – a region that’s not too far from Toronto and yet had been very far off my travel radar before this book. Now I simply can’t wait to visit – I’ve already ordered my Finger Lakes travel guide. We likely won’t get there until sometime next year, but I’m sure that the stories in this book will still be with me as we get there – the stories Dawson has chosen to tell are just too vibrant and compelling to forget.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough and I look forward to a future post on the Finger Lakes.
To order from Amazon click here.